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Pakistan army says it will not deploy troops outside region

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Islamabad: Pakistan army has said it will not send troops for any mission outside the region, amidst reports of pressure by the US to become part of a grand military alliance to crush Islamic State in the Middle East.

“We already have about 182,000 troops deployed along the Afghan border. We are not looking for any involvement outside our region,” Army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said. The US is working to cobble up an alliance against the ISIS (known as ‘Daesh’ in Arabic acronym) that has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria.

“Daesh is a global threat, with its centre in the Middle East. There is need for a global response to it,” Bajwa was quoted as saying by Dawn. “Luckily, Daesh sympathisers came to Pakistan when people were fed up with extremists. So this phenomenon was totally rejected in Pakistan,” he added.

Bajwa was part of a delegation led by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif who visited the US from November 15 to 20. Earlier in 2015, Pakistan refused to provide troops to a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia to wage a war in Yemen.

PTI